Top 21 Concealed Carry Guns: Comparisons and Rankings

Top 21 Concealed Carry Guns: Comparisons and Rankings

Top 21 Concealed Carry Guns: Comparisons and Rankings

In the last few months, year, or so, there have been many new handguns introduced for concealed carry (CC). It seems there is always the “latest and greatest” handgun with a unique gimmick or special feature introduced for your consideration. Everyone has an opinion about “THE” best CC gun and certainly everyone has their individual biases and preferred features for it. Most cannot afford to change their CC gun every few months nor do they want to. They want to have a very reliable and quality CC gun they can live with for quite awhile. Some of you asked me for a follow-up study to include a lot more gun options than my previous December 2014 review on this website, so here it is. I decided to make a comparison and ranking of 21 of the current viable CC handguns and see which ones came out in the top 4 based on selected factors and my criteria. I believe before you read my study and analysis or any handgun selection study that you decide what you want in your CC gun up front and not be swayed by what any study, what your best friend uses, or what the manufacturer’s newest and improved model is. The carry calibers introduced lately are mostly in 9 mm and .380 ACP. To help with my own carry decision, confirm past decisions, and because my readers and students ask me almost daily “What gun do you recommend for CC?”, I decided to evaluate 21 of the 100 (or is that 1,000?) current handguns in 9 mm only for the CC purpose from just 10 manufacturers. Some models have been around for awhile and several are new within the last few months. All but 3 have less than a 4″ barrel. Please understand that this list is not all inclusive and is not intended to be. The 21 guns and manufacturers I included were the ones most asked about and which I personally wanted to know more about. While the grip angle of one of the new guns was not best for my medium-sized hands, I still wanted to include it in my study because of its popularity. So this is very subjective in terms of my “Top 21 CC” 9 mm handguns and I do not intend to anger anyone through omission of their preferred CC gun or manufacturer, nor slight the .380, .45, or other calibers or features. Those can be included later in another comparison list, study, and rankings. I wanted to see a side-by-side comparison of the 9 mm guns’ specifications and then rank them by my 4 main criteria. There is not a current specifications and rankings by key criteria comparison of these 21 guns in 9 mm that I could identify. My sole motivation is to sincerely help folks and myself consider the specifications, key factors, and comparisons among this limited set of 21 popular 9 mm CC handguns. There are certainly other fine options for another study. I prefer 9 mm for CC because of the ease of recoil control, availability of reasonably-priced ammo which allows more practice for myself, one-shot stop percentage comparisons for CC calibers from recent studies, general accuracy advantage from less movement, the F.B.I and other law enforcement agencies’ preference justification and recent switches to 9mm as a primary duty gun for improved accuracy, etc. Of course, training and practice are important for handling, operating, and shooting any gun accurately. So I decided to look at some current models of 9 mm carry handguns, for example the Sig P320 Sub-Compact, the Glock 43, the Springfield XD9- Mod 2, the Ruger LC9s, the S&W M&P Compact, the Kimber Solo, and the FNS 9 Compact, to name just a few. Previously, I have reviewed several of these handguns individually on this website, own almost all of them, and consider all of them to be effective and quality guns for CC. Keep in mind that this very personal decision is yours alone to make according to your own criteria, factors, priorities, preferences, desired features, ergonomics and comfort considerations, medical conditions, hand and finger size and strength, method of carry, frequency of carry, number of bad guys encountered (capacity), available gun money, etc. Maybe a 9mm is not even the best caliber for you and maybe none of the guns I studied are for you. So I strongly suggest handling and shooting your possible CC gun options and evaluating them yourself BEFORE you buy.

First, I want to give 8 key objective CC Factors for each of the 21 handguns and then focus on my 4 main preferred criteria (excluding my personal features preferences) which, in MY opinion, are important for CC purposes and for me. I know there are other factors and priorities, but to make my non-funded mini-study practical and feasible to help you, I narrowed the many factors down to 8 factors and specified my 4 main CC criteria. Perhaps, you might want to do a study with your preferred guns, personal factors, and criteria. I sincerely would like to read your opinions, desired features, and rankings. Beneath the comparison chart below are my rankings of the guns by my 4 main criteria, with guns ranked by each individual criterion. Many have asked, so I also include a ranking by Retail Price, although not one of my main 4 criteria. Price is so variable, dependent upon seller, supply and demand, time, and for me not a main consideration when it comes to an expense for defending my life and my loved ones. Then I offer an Overall Ranking for all 21 guns considering a composite of my top 4 criteria. So you can see which guns received 2, 3, or 4 rankings of my 4 possible main criteria. For the Overall Rankings, only one gun received some ranking in all 4 criteria rankings. (Incidentally, this confirmed my choice several years ago for one of my top carry guns.) Hope this helps you some or at least will be a starting point to save you time for your own comparisons.

Here are my 8 Key CC Factors:

  • Barrel Length
  • Width
  • Weight- Loaded*
  • Capacity-Rounds
  • Height
  • Total Length
  • Trigger Press
  • Retail Price**

Here are my 4 Main CC Criteria:

  • Width
  • Weight- Loaded*
  • Capacity-Rounds
  • Trigger Press

I have put the features and specifications for each of the 21 handguns in the following easy-reference chart to allow you to better make comparisons for your decision.

 GLOCK 43GLOCK 26 (Gen 4)GLOCK 19 (Gen 4)S&W M&P Compact(DAO)
Barrel Length3.39″3.42″4.01″3.50″
Width1.02″1.18″1.18″1.20″
Weight- Loaded*20.60 oz26.12 oz30.18 oz26 oz
Capacity-Rounds6101512
Height4.25″4.17″4.99″4.30″
Total Length6.26″6.41″7.36″6.70″
Trigger Press 5.5 lbs5.5 lbs5.5 lbs5.5 lbs
Retail Price**$599$599$599$585

 

SIG 290 (DAO)SIG 938 (SAO)SIG 239 (DAK-DAO)SIG 224 SAS (DAK-DAO)
Barrel Length2.90″3.00″3.60″3.50″
Width.91″1.10″1.18″1.30″
Weight- Loaded*26.5 oz21 oz29.5 oz29 oz
Capacity-Rounds67812
Height3.90″3.90″5.10″4.50″
Total Length5.50″5.90″6.60″6.70″
Trigger Press6.8 lbs6.5 lbs6.8 lbs6.0 lbs
Retail Price**$513$819$993$1,149

 

 SIG 320 Carry (Striker DAO)SIG 320 Sub-Compact (Striker DAO)Springfld EMP (SAO)Springfld XD9-Mod 2 DAO)
Barrel Length3.90″3.55″3.00″3.00″
Width1.40″1.06″1.10″1.19″
Weight- Loaded*26 oz24.9 oz23 oz26 oz
Capacity-Rounds1512913
Height5.30″4.67″4.81″4.75″
Total Length7.20″6.67″6.63″6.25″
Trigger Press5.5 lbs6.0 lbs5.9 lbs6.5 lbs
Retail Price**$585$585$1,320$565

 

Springfld XDS 4 (DAO)S&W M&P Shield (Striker)Ruger LC9S (Striker DAO)Ruger SR9C (DAO)
Barrel Length4.00″3.10″3.12″3.50″
Width.90″.94″.95″1.27″
Weight- Loaded*25 oz24.7 oz23 oz23.4 oz
Capacity-Rounds77710
Height4.40″4.60″4.50″4.61″
Total Length7.00″6.10″6.00″6.85″
Trigger Press7.0 lbs6.5 lbs5.1 lbs6.5 lbs
Retail Price**$595$469$449$449

 

Kahr CM9 (DAO)Kimber Solo (Striker SAO)HK P30 (LEM- V1)Walther PPQ (M2)FNS 9 Compact (Striker DAO)
Barrel Length3.00″2.70″3.86″4.00″3.60
Width.90″1.15″1.37″1.30″1.55″
Weight- Loaded*20.5 oz23 oz26 oz30 oz28.4 oz
Capacity-Rounds66151512
Height4.00″3.90″5.43″5.30″5.20″
Total Length5.42″5.50″6.99″7.10″6.70″
Trigger Press6.5 lbs6.5 lbs6.1 lbs5.5 lbs6.6 lbs
Retail Price**$460$699$1,099$649$599

*   Weight varies by grains/type bullet/caliber/number of rounds; assumes standard 9mm mag weight-fully loaded is about 3 oz.

**  Retail price approximate as of March 20, 2015. Varies by dealer, options, supply-demand, etc.

Notes: Capacity is shown in standard rounds from manufacturer; All 21 guns are acceptable for my carry purposes & those 6 with a lighter trigger press (out of the manufacturer’s box) are very comparable for accuracy with my bench rest  shooting skills at 7 yards; Comfort in the hand & ergonomics, while not identical for all guns studied, are acceptable to me & very comparable for my medium-sized hands. 

Rank by Width

  1. TIE: Springfield XDS 4– .90″; Kahr CM9– .90″
  2. Sig 290– .91″
  3. S&W M&P Shield– .94″
  4. Ruger LC9S– .95″
  5. Glock 43– 1.02″
  6. Sig P320- Subcompact– 1.06
  7. Springfield EMP– 1.10″ 

Rank by Weight-Loaded*

  1. Kahr CM9– 20.5 oz
  2. Glock 43– 20.6 oz
  3. Sig 938– 21 oz
  4. TIE: 23 oz: Springfield EMP; Ruger LC9S; Kimber Solo
  5. Ruger SR9C– 23.4 oz
  6. S&W M&P Shield– 24.7 oz 

Rank by Standard Capacity

  1. TIE: 15 rnds: Glock 19; HK P30; Sig 320 Carry; Walther PPQ
  2. Springfield XD9-Mod 2– 13
  3. TIE: 12 rnds: S&W M&P 9C; Sig P320 Subcompact; Sig 224 SAS DAK; FNS 9 Compact
  4. TIE: 10 rnds: Glock 26; Ruger SR9C
  5. Springfield EMP– 9 

Rank by Trigger Press

  1. Ruger LC9S– 5.1 lbs
  2. TIE: 5.5 lbs: Glock 26, 43, & 19; Sig 320 Carry; Walther PPQ M2
  3. Springfield EMP– 5.9 lbs
  4. TIE: 6.0 lbs: Sig 224 SAS DAK; Sig P320 Subcompact
  5. H&K P30– 6.1 lbs 

Rank by Retail Price**

  1. TIE: Ruger LC9S– $449; Ruger SR9C– $449.
  2. Kahr CM9– $460.
  3. S&W M&P Shield– $469.
  4. Sig P290– $513.
  5. Springfield XD9-Mod 2– $565.
  6. TIE: S&W M&PC– $585; Sig 320 Sub-Compact– $585.; Sig P320 Compact– $585.
  7. Springfield XDS 4– $595.
  8. TIE: Glock 26– $599.; Glock 19– $599.; Glock 43– $599.; FNS 9 Compact– $599.
  9. Walther PPQ M2– $649.
  10. Kimber Solo– $699.
  11. Sig 938– $819.
  12. Sig 239 DAK– $993.
  13. H&K P30– $1,099.
  14. Sig 224 SAS DAK– $1,149.
  15. Springfield EMP–$1,320.

 

OVERALL RANK– of 21 Carry 9 mm Handguns by My Top 4 Criteria (In Bold in Table) 

  1. Springfield EMP— 4 out of 4 categories
  2. TIE: Glock 43— 3 out of 4 categories

Ruger LC9S— 3 out of 4 categories

Sig P320 Subcompact— 3 out of 4 categories

  1. TIE: Ruger SR9C– 2 out of 4 categories

H&K P30– 2 out of 4 categories

Glock 19– 2 out of 4 categories

Walther PPQ M2– 2 out of 4 categories

Glock 26– 2 out of 4 categories

Kahr CM9– 2 out of 4 categories

 

CONCLUSION 

I hope this data comparison and rankings among 21 of the current 9mm handguns for concealed carry purposes have helped you narrow down your list of gun contenders and saved you some time. I tried to be as objective as possible in isolating on what carry factors are important and logically presenting the data and rankings, but individual bias and subjectivity always play a part of personal analysis and decision-making. Ergonomics, comfort, and gun fit to your hand are also very important, but you will have to determine that for yourself. Of the 21 handguns in 9 mm included, note the top 10 guns in the Overall Rank category. These are all stellar guns and all are worthy to be your CC gun. Certainly all 21 are also excellent guns and very worthy of consideration. I carry many of them myself in the rotation among my CC guns. Note the top 4 guns in the Overall Rank category (in bold) that resulted from the 8 factors and the 4 criteria in this analysis were: Springfield EMP; TIE: Glock 43; Ruger LC9S; and Sig P320 Subcompact. At least this will give you a starting point for what’s currently out there for your own exploration. What are your top 4 contenders for your CC gun and which one do you primarily prefer and why?

 

Continued success!

 

Photo by author.

 

* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice, your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. You alone bear responsibility for making decisions about your shooting gear and accessories for your purpose. This information should not be relied upon as appropriate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever. 

© 2015 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].

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  • djltx

    I will stick with my Colt Commander…

  • Jrayy

    I’ve discovered the Sig P938 SAS model, and it is far and away the best CC I’ve ever tried. I picked it up from PSA on a daily deal for $500. MSRP is pretty expensive for this little guy at $800, but for $500, I could not have done better. My 938 has ran like a top, and has experienced none of the reported issues the earlier models had.

    • Col Ben

      Yes, the 938 is very good… but so are the EMP9, SR9C, M&P 9C, G19, LC9S, 320 Sub-Compact 9, HK P30, XDS, XD9 Mod 2…. What a nice problem to have to choose THE carry gun. Success!

  • BobM

    Great stuff. I have been using these criteria in search of the “Holy Grail”. Right now I’m carrying a Tarus 709 I acquired some years back. I’m excited about the G43, just coming out. I have a G27. It is just too thick. Another weapon that a great gun is the Walther PPS. The only reason that isn’t my favorite is the magazine. It has some funky base plate that has a couple teeth on it that bites me during a empty gun reload. Great article. Love the process.

  • Don O. Benson

    I personally will take the concealment, 8 round mag, and weight (loaded) of the Shield over any double stack 9 and any of the 6 round mag 9’s. The others are all top notch handguns but I really have replaced my glock 26 with my shield as everyday/all day carry.

  • Ken

    You sure didn’t put much weight to the price since many are more expensive than many can afford. I chose a S&W SD9VE that cost me $289.99 that has a MSRP of $389. It is the size and weight of a Glock 19 and holds one more round. The trigger is not as good but it is so close to the Glock in all other aspects, it is scary.

  • I have a commander and it’s too heavy when the summer and/or warmer weather comes, I live in AZ and it’s just not practical. I’d like to see an article on CC revolvers. I wonder how the LCR, Bulldog and the Smith and Wesson revolvers do. That said, I’d like to check out the LC9. It’s supposed to be a great buy. That or the XDs in 45. Or may be a LCR or Bulldog. 🙂

    • Col Ben

      Hi James! Check out my Sept. 23, 2014 Review on this site of the Ruger LC9S. They have greatly improved the trigger on the “s” model and it came out tied for 2nd in this review of the top 21 9mms.
      Continued success and appreciate your comments as always.

    • Paladin

      I own and carry daily a Springfield XDs .45. Love it!

      • Mikial

        Agreed. My EDC is a full sized XD .45. As accurate a reliable as a Glock, but with the grip safety I feel better about carrying cocked and locked with no manual safety to worry about in the heat of the moment.

  • Parnell

    I have a LC9s Pro and would agree with your evaluation of the pistol. I also have a P290RS and I really like it too. But to be truthful, I really want a P938 Scorpion.

    • 2ThinkN_Do2

      I have a P290RS and I know why it has RS, it needs it; the P938 is much more to my liking. I have the P938 SAS version with the extended baseplate mag and the Hogue rubber grip added.

      • Parnell

        Haven’t had that problem. Practice ammo is 124gr. S&B, carry is 124gr Hornady Custom. Same for the Ruger. Just like the 938.

        • 2ThinkN_Do2

          I had too many re-strikes needed with the P290RS while I had it; zero issues with the P938 no matter what I shoot, mixing mags of various ammo even.

      • mas4489

        Try it with out the Hogue grips. Much better!!

        • 2ThinkN_Do2

          I prefer the P938 with the Hogue grips as I do my LCP and my P232.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    I’m wondering why the Kahr K9 and MK9 are not on the list and also the CZ 75 Compact and or Rami?

  • Cal Greco

    I agree 2Think I like CZ; and carry a CZ 75b sa; highly modified. But that is more closer to a full size. I am very interested in the Springfield EMP; price doesn’t scare me but wish it was semi-double stack. could have got 11-13 rounds then. A lot of those listed I wouldn’t consider CC because of size but everyone is different.

  • Col Ben

    Note the S&W 9mm Shield has a capacity of 7, while the Shield .40 caliber has capacity of 6. This does not affect the ranking within the Capacity Category.

    • Dustin Stephenson

      With the flush magazine, yes. It can also be carried with the longer magazine it comes with, making them 8 and 7 respectively.

  • whynoborders

    Interesting that the only Walther’s was NOT what I consider CC. The PPS in 9mm (6,7,8 clips) & in .40 (5,6,7 clips) are .9+ inch width & about 16 oz.

    • geezer pleaser

      mags.

    • Robert inguaggiato

      I carry my PPS9 a lot it is an excellent excellent sidearm but my main is a Glock 30 Gen 4 it fits my hand better and I’m more accurate with it due to hand fit. If I didn’t carry a 45 cal for main CC gun the Welther PPS 9 would be my main carry. The S&W Shield 40 cal. I do have and never carry I hate it of the 14 handguns I have it is the only one I wish I never had purchased.

  • Mikial

    My own EDC is a full size XD .45, but my back up is a Kel Tec PF9 so I’m a bit disappointed it’s not even on the list. While I prefer a full sized .45 for my main weapon, to me, my PF9 is accurate, easy to shoot and easy to conceal in a pocket holster.

  • SCfromNY

    Interesting review and I can agree with most of the criteria. A few notes on guns missed. Unless this was written a while ago H&K has recently lowered prices making the P2000 & P2000sk in the $650 price range great buys. Also the P30 is a lot cheaper.

  • Bigman

    Wow……..this looks into the innards of a bunch of the best known handguns we all know exist. My only critical comment has to do with the prices. Any of these fine pistols can be bought for much fewer bucks than mentioned, so much for that. From there on, the author does a great job of diliniating between the smaller 9mm. I’ve tried several…now found that I group with the Ruger LCsPro best of all. BUT…….the needle-like tip of the trigger becomes a problem to me after several rounds. I need to dull it some way.
    Other than that, my final choice would have to be the newest Ruger. I’d been a behind-the-counter sales person for 30+ years, and have always said that Ruger makes the best for the buck of any other on the market. For me, now at 82, this has come to fruition.
    jim/louisiana

    • Bigman

      P.S………I went to the Ruger from a Sig 938……why? Simply because I group it MUCH better. Please though, don’t ask me why!!!!!
      jim/louisiana

    • Col Ben

      ** Retail price approximate as of March 20, 2015. Varies by dealer, options, supply-demand, etc. Shop the market.

  • Jeff Pauly

    One area not mentioned is reliability and function. Some of these like the Ruger LC9 do not function with all ammo. If it does not function everytime, everytime the trigger is pulled it’s not something for CC carry. The carry capacity is not fully correct. I carry the SA XD model 2 in 9mm. It will fully loaded carry 13+1 in the chamber. I have 2 extended mags that hold 16+1. Since most carry with a round loaded the numbers change.

    • Col Ben

      Thanks or your comments! My LC9S functions with a very wide variety of ammo. Everyone should function test at the range their CC ammo to make certain it is reliable with their particular CC gun. It is accepted that the large majority of guns’ capacity is expressed as +1.Thanks again.

      • 2ThinkN_Do2

        I am not a +1 person. I do carry chambered but do not top off the magazine. If by chance I need to park the firearm in a lockbox, I do not want a loose round floating around in my pocket or with the firearm. I carry no less than 1 spare sometimes 2 loaded magazines depending on the capacity. Generally have no less than 17 rounds on board.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    I’ve had or have an EMP 40, Shield 40, Kimber Ultra 45, LCP 380 (have), Sig P938 SAS 9 (have), Sig P290RS, Kahr K9, Kahr MK40 (have), M&P 40C (have) – and my favorite is still the Kahr MK40. The EMP was nice, but it was not as accurate or as compact as the MK40. The P938 is nice when want something a little lighter and a wee bit sleeker (nice for ankle carry vs the Kahr). The LCP is very nice for ankle, vest or jacket pocket. I’ve zero issues shooting anything out of either of these firearms.

    • George Avalon

      +1 for Kahr. I have a p380 that has thousands of rounds through it flawlessly. In the 9mm flavor I prefer my little Sig 320 or a Walther; love having 15 rounds with me. To each his own, I guess. Great article.

  • libertasdon

    Glocks and Sigs — no thank you!

    • Col Ben

      Personal preference. Curious as to what you CC and why. What are your criteria? What features do you prefer?

      • libertasdon

        A S&W model 640 in .38 special is my CCW, although I have a Colt Officer’s Model I could use. I would carry the Colt if I lived in a colder environment where I could use a jacket to cover better the Colt’s size. I prefer American handguns generally, but my primary beef with Glocks and Sigs is they do not fit my hand well. I must move my hand around the grip to put my finger precisely where it belongs on the trigger. Also, and this is very minor, I think the Glock and Sig models each look goofy. The have what I call a European industrial design look that I consider intentional and pretentious. I do not have a hi power, but if I were to buy an European-made handgun for CCW, I think it would be a hi power. I prefer a gun that fits my hand without compromise, as opposed to one that has high capacity or some other feature such as a “safety trigger.”

        • groberts1980

          So basically, completely personal preference and opinion on your part. Not much of a contribution to this discussion.

      • Thomas Krpata

        Just got a Bersa Thunder 380 CC, it’s light weight and accurate and fits nicely in your hands. Read a lot of reviews about and all gave it very high praise

  • Jeff Pauly

    I appreciate your reply and comments. My brother purchased his Ruger LC9 but like in many areas we don’t have a place to test fire any particular gun. When we went out to try I brought some Sieller & Bellot ammo. After the first round nothing. He said it was due to a coating on the ammo that gumms up the firing pin so after he cleaned it it would again fire one round. He said it was just crappy ammo. I have not only shot the same ammo in my SA XD md2, I have yet to find any ammo, no matter how cheap, or where it come from to not fire everytime. Maybe he has a bad Ruger, yet unfortunately he won’t have it checked out. I have a Ruger LCP and it functions great.

    • Mike Poiner

      Possibly limp wristing it, small handguns with stout recoil springs have to be gripped rather firmly to function properly. My LC9 runs every type of ammo I have ever tried in it including light reloads. Own both the LC9 and the SR9C. Flawless weapons, love my Rugers

  • Timothy Johnson

    Great information.
    Ive shot many of the guns mentioned and own a couple. Now that ive found the Shield 9mm, I will always carry it. Ive got many thousands of rounds through it with zero problems. From very cheap ammo to top of the line carry ammo, never one issue. I paid $389 for it, cant beat that. The size is perfect and its very light. By far the best CC gun ive ever seen.

  • Tacupae

    EMP’s weight, based on specs from Springfield is 27 oz with empty magazine. Impossible its weight loaded to be 24 oz.

  • Tacupae

    Agree 100%

  • mkuisi8mo

    Thanks for the info, but I’ll keep my EDC to my Aluminum alloy framed CZ 75D Compact (PCR)…never hiccups, eats everything I feed it and is more accurate then my eyes!

    • Danny Sampsel

      My Compact PCR has completed my search for my ultimate CCW. CGW’s Defensive Carry Package is just icing on the top. Thank you CZ & CGW!

  • Don Eberle

    You made a terrible mistake. The Ruger sr9c holds 17 rounds this ties the Ruger with the winner. Shame on you.

    • Col Ben

      Don, check your facts. This article is about CC, not full-size guns and other uses. The SR9c standard magazine holds 10 rounds for CC. I love my SR9c. Per Ruger’s website: “The SR9c compact pistol weighs in at 23.40 oz. and features an overall length of 6.85″, a height of 4.61″, and the same slim 1.27″ grip width (across safety levers) as the full-sized SR9. It comes with two magazines that provide options in both capacity and grip size. The standard magazine holds 10 rounds and features a flat bottom butt plate; a finger grip extension floor plate is also included. The second magazine features a grip adapter and holds 17 rounds, instantly transforming the smaller, compact grip into a full-sized 9mm grip.” Success!

  • Eva

    So many fine CCW pistols out. Even at a low starting price you will find something to fit you. I have the SR9C and very happy with it and a Kimber Solo and the same goes for that. Its almost to the point that the main selling point is aesthetics

  • Luke

    I guess I am just a confirmed old fogey. I have been carrying a Springfield 1911 V-10 Ultracompact for many years. I know that there are a number of negative reviews about this firearm floating around but I have shot a very large number of rounds out of this pistol at both practice sessions and the defensive handgun classes I have taken over the years without a single (knock on wood) hiccup. I started with a Milt Sparks inside the waistband holster and, with only one repair, have found it to offer excellent retention of the pistol. If I had to pick another pistol I would be hard pressed to not go with another 1911 of some variety.

    • Tim

      The V-10 is one of my carry guns, and yes you have a lot of people with their own opinions, but most are spouting off and do not own one and have not used one either. Great carry gun. I am still looking for the 13 round mags, do you have 10 or 13?

      • Luke

        I have the original (7) that came with it and two others (7) in stainless with drop pads. Got those from Wilson.

  • stan

    My daily carry is the Springfield XDS 45 APC..My Glock 23 .40 has more of a kick than the 45..Both very nice pistols..My wife carries the S & W 9mm..We are both members of the Seattle Police Range…Luke..I have my dad’s 1911 that he carried on the USS Enterprise CV-6 during WW11..He gave it to me when I came back from my 2nd tour in Viet Nam in 1968..My dad passed away in 1991..Haven’t shot it since then..It stays in my gun safe..

  • Paul Grivas

    My CC piece is a XDs .45ACP it’s light and easy to concile been carrying it for over a year now in a Wright Leather Works Predator rig My wife’s carry is a Taurus 85 .38spl +p

  • Zombee

    I prefer an S&W Airweight 38 Sp+P w/ shrouded hammer as my concealed carry . Its draw and pull. No saftey to fumble with and no wasted moves when the adrenline is pumping. Plenty of knock down power, compact and light weight.

  • RMD

    One of the best never mentioned is the Bersa Thunder. Great gun and very accurate.

    • Pat Fox

      yes! the besa is a exellent pistol !!!

  • Terry Donohue

    I have the Ruger LC9s and Glock 43. Both awesome conceal carry weapons. Very accurate. The trigger pull on the Ruger is actually much better than the Glock. The Glock feels a little nicer in my hand though. Would highly recommend both.

    • groberts1980

      Glock 43 is my carry gun. I have a +1 magazine baseplate and carry in a 7+1 configuration. Most comfortable carry gun I’ve used.

  • David Olson

    Each particular model and caliber must be measured against real or perceived subject(s) targets. I have everything from my Beretta cal. 22 LR and its bigger brother, in caliber the cal .32. Walther enjoys a deservedly good ranking, my PK 380 is my consideration. My Sigs are the incredible P938 9mm short. For heavier carry my P 928 in 40 mm S&W. Finally I have my favorite big boys, Colt 1911s. The Commander and the original 1911, both are cal .45. Unfortunately the summer weather plays a large part in my consideration of a CCW. Tip my hat to my Beretta cal .32, or my Sig P938. Carry either in a rear hip pocket designed holster. With my shirt hanging out eliminates any indication of a CCW on my person.

  • JAZONG

    Well done sir. I keep a spreadsheet of all the pistols I’m interested in purchasing, and I use exactly the same stats.

  • JAZONG

    Well done sir. I keep a spreadsheet of all the pistols I’m interested in purchasing, and I use exactly the same stats.

  • Arch

    I have 2 Model 1911’s in .45 ACP, another Browning M1911-22 caliber, a Beretta 92FS and a Bersa Thunder 9 MM. At the range this morning shooting offhand, the little Browning put 20 rounds in a 6″ circle at 15 yards in less than 2 minutes. The Bersa and and the .45 fared less well. The 45’s are Papa bear guns. The .22 is a Mama bear gun.

    This afternoon, I bought a Browning M1911-380. It has a 4.25″ barrel, so it can put a 90 grain 9 mm XTP bullet out the muzzle at over 1000 fps. This gun is light, flat, accurate and deadly. It’s my new CC weapon because it’s the baby bear gun – Just Right.

  • cadranni

    On the H&K, curious why you chose the P30 instead of the P30SK? The SK is smaller, much less expensive, and still has all the features of the bigger model with the exception of 10 rounds instead of 15. But since the magazines are interchangeable, you can carry spares with 15 or 30 rounds.

  • Great write up Col. Ben.. thanks for putting this info together, very informative. I’d love to see a similar comparison with popular .380 ACP pistols, even though I carry 9mm, it would be great to see (and the wife is considering a .380 for her CCW). And, to all the ‘caliber bashers’,.. yes, you folks who think nothing less than the ‘stopping power of a ……. caliber’ is good enough to get the job done, I’d suggest you consider 2 things. 1) Read some research on actual shootings detailing the resulting terminal performance, one-shot-stop-percentages and effectiveness of several calibers side-by-side and 2) take into consideration the incredible enhancement in terminal performance that new bullet technology affords these ‘little calibers’ and the fact that many times, if not most times, it’s easier to put more rounds on target when you’re dealing with less muzzle flip, lower recoil and less rapport. #foodforthought Carry as big a caliber as you can comfortably, consistently shoot accurately.. and train constantly!

  • Hal_Aluya

    WHAAAT??!! NO CZ 2075 RAMI??!! Outstanding carry piece missed.

  • John Smith

    If I may say, this is a very good read. From the author’s explanation of his choices and why, to the helpful and genteel tone of these comments… nice job folks. I’m refining my CC choices and helping my daughter through the process, and this article and the comments are very helpful. I was at Sig P938 VS LC9S but I’ve recently added G43 to the list. I love my G30s, but it’s a lot to carry and conceal sometimes, and my S&W Bodyguard is… (well, ok, it’s a .380 and not my first choice). Thoughts?

    • Filmphoenix

      From a female point of view the Ruger LC9S is a good choice for your daughter. I just tried my friends at the range a few days ago and I LOVED it. The trigger pull was nice and smooth, not too long. It fit perfectly in my smaller hands and the recoil was easy to manage. I normally shoot a Walther PPS M2, but I loved the LC9S so much I’m get one for myself.

      • J Kevin Moree

        I hope you respond i am in search for my daughter 33, who has of course small hands, conceal carry, and i want your personal opinion BAD, i am a glock guy, however i do not like the fact of no, zero safety. she is not an avid shooter, just in search of personal protection. i do not want her to have to pull gun and ratchet a round That split second could coster her life if you would please email me your thoughts suggestion,,,,please
        i am worried, concerned daddy moreepms at aol dot com

  • Grant Tyler

    I have an EMP in .40 cal. It is.an.excellent shooter. Beautiful fit and finish. I’m suprised this doesn’t get more credit in the ccw circles. I’ve owned and shot many similar pistols like the ultra carry and such. The EMP is a superior pistol. I assume the price has kept it out of the hands of many. I feel it’s worth every penny. Hard to put a price on safety. Great article!

  • John Scott

    I just bought a sig 224 (on CDNN for $559). I have seen very little publicity about it, but I am glad to see it included on this list–I think it is a WHOLE lot of gun in a small package.

  • gh

    list is incomplete; bersa bp9cc. excellent 9m cc underdog

  • rustyknight17

    Once again, these are not geared towards those of us on a budget , in my case <= $350. My favourite 9 mm is the Zastava M88A.

    • groberts1980

      Plenty of CC guns out there for <=$350. S&W Bodyguard, M&P Shield, Taurus Slim 9mm, among others. Remember MSRP means nothing when it comes to guns. Subtract $100-150 off MSRP for the price you will pay on most popular gun websites.

  • groberts1980

    I would have not used MSRP as the pricing factor, because nobody ever pays MSRP. Just as one example, I’ve never seen a Glock 43 anywhere near $599. $449 is a typical price for that gun, less if they’re having a sale.

  • Zebra Dun

    Excellent and accurate study. Using 9 mm as the cartridge caliber as choice.

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